The jungle of yoga styles

The jungle of yoga styles

It is often said that there are as many types of yoga as there are yoga teachers. Each class has a different vibe and focus of intention in addition to the various physical postures and level of intensity. Nonetheless, there are a few major distinctions that are worth knowing in order to choose the right class for your needs. Sometimes we are in the mood for an energetic class to build heat and muscles, other times our body needs rest and relaxation. Below are a few bullet points to sum up the basics of each style.

Vinyasa Yoga

  • About: The word vinyasa means to place in a special way (vi in a special way, nyasa to place). It is a dynamic class where the aim is to perform intentional movements that are coordinated with your breath.
  • Purpose: Depending on the class, you train your coordination, balance, strength, flexibility and focus. Many teachers also include a bit of yoga philosophy.
  • Example of a class: This style provides a bit of everything. It usually starts with a few minutes of meditation and breathing exercises, followed by sun salutation variations. Hence the teacher will propose various standing and sitting postures that will differ depending on the teacher and class. Savasana wraps up the practice and allows your body to relax at the end.
  • Intensity: The pace and intensity highly depends on the teacher and the level of the students. It is often medium to high.

Yin Yoga

  • About: This is a slow paced class where each sitting posture is held for several minutes.
  • Purpose: The aim is to stretch your connective tissue (fasciae, ligaments, tendons and surrounding tissue). This is why each posture is held for 1-7 minutes. The class also promotes focus and yoga philosophy.
  • Example of a class: Often starts off with a gentle meditation to set your focus before each posture is introduced in turn. Most postures are seated, and often require props (bolsters, blankets, ribbons, blocks and eye covers).
  • Intensity: Slow

Restorative Yoga

  • About: This is a pure relaxation class where each posture is held for 4-20 minutes.
  • Purpose: Stress tends to activate our nerves. When we sit in front of the computer, the neck muscles are often contracted. If this persists over a longer period of time, one will generate muscular tension and pain. In this class we are essentially re-teaching our muscles to relax. In addition the class promotes mindfulness and philosophy.
  • Example of a class: In this class, the teacher will often set aside some time to explain each posture. We are using props (bolsters, blankets, ribbons, blocks and eye covers) in order to set the best conditions for the muscles to relax. When the props support the body, we are “tricking” our muscles to relax. There is usually a little pause in between each posture where the teacher illustrates the next asana. It is not unusual to fall asleep in this class if that is what your body needs.
  • Intensity: Super slow

Ashtanga Yoga

  • About: This is a higher pace yoga practice where you follow the very same sequence of postures every class, called The Primary Series. Traditionally Ashtanga teachers would not allow you to move on to the next posture before you had mastered the one before. Today, teachers often offer modifications. Some classes are led by an instructor. In “Mysore”-classes people come and go as they want, and follow their own breath. A teacher will be there to give personal guidance when you need help.
  • Purpose: Strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, focus, philosophy. When you know the sequence by heart, the ashtanga classes become very meditative because you focus at observing the smaller changes that happen within. Even though the asanas are the same, you will soon discover that each practice is different.
  • Example of a class: Since the ashtanga practice follows a set  sequence, you can look up “The Primary Series” online to see the asanas and the order. It starts with sun salutation A and B, followed by standing and sitting asanas before the finishing sequence and Savasana. Each asana is typically held for 5 breaths, and are connected with a “vinyasa” (chaturanga – upwward facing dog – downward facing dog).
  • Intensity: High
The yoga science study

The yoga science study

Stadig flere studenter opplever negativt stress i hverdagen. Kan yoga øke velvære, bedre søvn og i tillegg øke fokus og akademisk prestasjon? English version here.  

The Yoga Science Project

Den siste “Studentenes helse- og trivselsundersøkelse” (ShOT) viser at 10 prosent av den normale populasjonen har betydelige psykiske helseplager til daglig, mens forekomsten er doblet hos norske studenter. På bakgrunn av dette har Yoga Science utviklet en randomisert kontrollert studie som går fra februar 2017 til våren 2018. Hensikten med studien er å undersøke hvilken effekt yoga har på mental helse.

Kan yoga bedre mental helse blant studenter i Norge?

200 studenter skal randomiseres til to grupper. Den ene gruppen vil gjøre yoga med en sertifisert lærer to ganger i uken over 12 uker, den andre vil være kontrollgruppe som får tilbud om å gjøre yoga etter gjennomførte målinger. Med spørreskjemaer, hjertefrekvensregistrering og eksamensresultater, sammenliknes negativt stress, søvn, velvære og akademisk prestasjon mellom gruppene.

Hva er yoga?

Yoga er en helhetlig form for trening som tar sikte på å øke ditt fokus her og nå. Gjennom meditasjon, pusteøvelser og fysiske posisjoner øver man på tilstedeværelse og observasjon av endring. Når man registrerer at tankene vandrer, er dette en mulighet til å hente seg tilbake til det man faktisk gjør her og nå. Yoga kan dermed trene opp fokus og tilstedeværelse, i alt fra samtaler på fritiden til eksamen på universitetet. Yogakurset er designet av Yoga Science og HiYoga. Studentene lærer asana (fysiske posisjoner), pranayama (pusteøvelser) og meditasjon, i tillegg til noe yoga filosofi. Målet er at man kan benytte seg av verktøyene utenfor yogarommet – i forbindelse med studier, søvn eller eksamensstress.

Er du student? – Bli med på studien!

Er du student og ny til yoga? Da er du en aktuell kandidat for The Yoga Science Project. Send oss en mail og meld din interesse, så mottar du fullt informasjonsskriv. Kontakt: info@yoscience.com. Har du spørsmål? Du finner trolig svar i artikkelen “Spørsmål og Svar – The Yoga Science Study”. Hvis ikke er det selvfølgelig bare å ta kontakt. Om du ikke er student men lurer på hvordan yoga påvirker helsen vår, er du velkommen til å lese Yoga Science sine egne artikler her på siden. This post is in Norwegian since our first study will be based in Oslo. For english version, click here.

 

 

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The Yoga Science Study

The Yoga Science Study

I am proud to announce that Yoga Science is organizing a randomized controlled trial this year. The aim is to investigate yoga as a means to reduce distress, increase subjective well being, promote better sleep and increase academic grades.

Background

University students show increased levels of mental distress. In a recent report on the well-being of Norwegian students, it was found that one in five has severe mental health issues. This number is the double of that of the normal population in the same age range. Similar results have been found in other countries.

Hence, we wish to investigate whether yoga can reduce student distress and increase subjective well being. Furthermore, we’ll assess sleep parameters and academic performance.

Together we’ll find out whether yoga has the potential to increase student well being, sleep quality and academic results. 

Students – look here!

Are you a student in the Oslo area and new to yoga? – Then you are a potential candidate for our study. Let us know if you are interested in being a participant by sending an e mail to info@yoscience.com. As a participant you’ll get a 12 week yoga course at Hi Yoga. By filling out some questionnaires and wearing a pulse watch, we’ll gather the data anonymously. Together we’ll find out whether yoga has the potential to increase student well being, sleep quality and academic results.

The first round of data collection starts in February 2017. Start the new year with a great, new challenge and contribute to the largest yoga study within the field to date!